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Becoming A Student-Historian


Becoming A Student-Historian Analysis, Critical thinking, and the ever-elusive Thesis.-By Mary Enge A Few Definitions What s the difference between a student of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Becoming A Student-Historian

Becoming A Student-Historian
  • Analysis, Critical thinking, and the ever-elusive
  • -By Mary Enge

A Few Definitions
  • Whats the difference between a student of
    history and a Student-Historian?
  • Students of history are able to recall many
    facts, names, dates, and places of important
    events just as they appear in textbooks, and
    often do well on multiple choice tests.

  • Student-Historians are able to analyze data from
    various sources, including secondary sources such
    as textbooks, and then make their interesting and
    insightful comments known through their own
    research and writing. These students can do well
    both on multiple choice tests and essay prompts.

Elements of a True Historians Essay
  • I. Research
  • II. Thesis
  • III. Evidence
  • IV. Complexity
  • V. Craftsmanship

I. Research
The school librarians are a great resource, dont
be afraid to ask them for help!
  • The key to accurate historical research is
    diversity. A multitude of different sources are
    needed in order to obtain a full picture of the
    matter being studied.
  • Primary sources A good paper should brimming
    with primary sources, these are sources that were
    created during the historical period being
  • Secondary sources These are also helpful and
    provide context and insight for primary
    sources--you will be creating your own secondary

II. Elements of a Thesis
  • Topic What is it that you are writing about?
  • Ex Absolutism in France
  • Observation What is it about that topic that you
    noticed and wanted to really specifically
  • Ex Louis XIV played off of the fears of the
    French people
  • So What? Why should the reader care? Address any
    larger implications here. It should be arguable.
  • Ex King Louis XIV of France effectively used
    knowledge of human nature in order to gain
    political power through absolutism.

III. Evidence
  • This is where your research comes in! You should
    have enough information to formulate several main
    points in favor of your thesis and defend them
    with quotes and examples from the texts you
  • Include directly quoted material and paraphrases,
    but always cite the author of the text and always
    explain each piece of evidence!

IV. Complexity
  • Nobody ever said History was without its
    complexities, and your paper certainly shouldnt
    ignore them.
  • ALWAYS include an acknowledgement of the opposing
    argument, but then defend your argument against
    the attack with new evidence.
  • Do it well and it will be clear to the reader
    that you are in the right!

V. Craftsmanship
  • Organization Your paper must be logically laid
    out for the reader to understand. Try to make
    broad categories for your evidence and then make
    these your main points and main paragraphs.
  • Transitions Transitional sentences act like road
    signs, gently guiding the reader from point A to
    point B.
  • Quotes Make sure you integrate and introduce
    your quotes, they should never stand alone in the
    middle of a paragraph.

Good Luck!
  • If you follow these guidelines and choose a topic
    of interest to you, the research and paper will
    be easier and much more fun you wont need luck,
    and victory will be yours.